Government says Gozo-Malta tunnel project is being carried out very thoroughly
The Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ministry said that the project to build a tunnel between Malta and Gozo is being carried out very thoroughly and with the greatest attention, according to planning and environmental regulations in both Malta and the EU.
In a statement, the Ministry said that while it noted the recent concerns of a number of entities about this project which has been in the pipeline for many years, the Government pointed out that the planning and studies for this important development for Gozitan families have been ongoing for many years. He explained that all the necessary studies, including the technical, economic and environmental ones, have been carried out or are being finalised by independent experts who have been approved by the authorities concerned and will be published shortly, as part of the process to determine the permits required in order for the excavation for the tunnel to start.
He said that in the last few years, the planning for this project included many studies including a social impact assessment, cost-benefit analysis and many more. Among other things, the studies took into consideration, the viability of the project, and the positive and negative impacts which it may have on society, the economy and other sectors. The environment impact assessment began in the middle of last year and its preliminary conclusions should be concluded within the next few months.
He said that these studies will be the basis on which the final public consultation will be based, and depending on their results the authorities will take their final decisions on this infrastructural investment.
He added that the Government has the mandate to carry out this project, on which there is agreement with the Opposition and therefore it would proceed ahead with its planning very thoroughly and methodically, in order to ensure that it is carried out in the most sustainable way possible.
Meanwhile, the Malta Developers Association reiterated its position in favour of the tunnel between the two islands. It expressed its satisfaction with the results of the studies which gave positive results on the tunnel. It noted that there are entities and non-government organisations which called for more studies so that with these studies, the project is abandoned. The associations stressed that studies should not be carried out with the aim of giving negative results.
Lack of evidence on Gozo-Malta tunnel – Church Environment Commission